Need help with new memory!


M

mfanizzi

Alright..I'm a gamer, so I was looking to beef up the 1gb in my system
and bought a 2gb kit. Before I get into the problem, here are some
relevant specs:

CPU is P4, 3.2 Ghz.
Motherboard is Asus P4P800-E Deluxe, recently flashed to latest stable
revision.

Old RAM is: "KINGSTON HYPERX 1024MB DUAL CHANNEL KIT PC3200 2X512MB DDR
400MHZ 184PIN". Runs at 2.5-3-3-8, if that matters at all.

New RAM is: "OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5 184PIN
Pin Dual Channel Memory Kit /W Ramsink". Runs at 2.5-3-2-5. Should be
capable of Cas 2, but I can't seem to get the machine to post when I
set it to 2.

So, both old and new are dual channel, ddr400, pc3200. There are 4
slots on the motherboard.

The problem:

The new 2gb RAM seems to be performing the same/worse than my old 1gb.
Using Sisoft Sandra's memory bandwidth (int/float) test:

1gb kit averages ~4800/4800
2gb kit averages ~4320/4320
Putting in all 3gb -> Half the results come to around 4600/4600, the
other half ridiculously low (examples: 1712/4663, 2943/2158, 4669/2375)

Then I tried testing loading up a certain saved game in Doom3.
1gb kit: consistently 47 seconds
2gb kit: consistently 47 seconds
All 3gb: 60 seconds

Is there a problem with the new ram (unlikely?), or am I missing
something here? Any suggestions? Any way to make the system like the
full 3gb more (or even just the 2gb alone if it comes to that)? I'd
hate for this to have been a useless purchase. Thanks in advance for
any help.
 
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J

John Doe

Alright..I'm a gamer, so I was looking to beef up the 1gb in my
system and bought a 2gb kit.
Old RAM is: "KINGSTON HYPERX 1024MB DUAL CHANNEL KIT PC3200
2X512MB DDR 400MHZ 184PIN". Runs at 2.5-3-3-8, if that matters at
all.

New RAM is: "OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5
184PIN Pin Dual Channel Memory Kit /W Ramsink". Runs at 2.5-3-2-5.
Should be capable of Cas 2, but I can't seem to get the machine to
post when I set it to 2.
The new 2gb RAM seems to be performing the same/worse than my old
1gb. Using Sisoft Sandra's memory bandwidth (int/float) test:

I guess the Kingston is pretty fast.
1gb kit averages ~4800/4800
2gb kit averages ~4320/4320

Seems to me the Kingston could be faster. Have you looked at
commercial benchmarks? Maybe memory timing isn't the only factor,
and maybe greater total capacity slows the benchmark.

I guess you could try benchmarking 1 GB of the 2 GB kit.
Then I tried testing loading up a certain saved game in Doom3.
1gb kit: consistently 47 seconds
2gb kit: consistently 47 seconds

I suppose you already know, but the major benefit of more memory is
the capacity to handle more data at RAM speed. If Doom3 loads into 1
GB of RAM comfortably, then you shouldn't expect shorter loading
time with 2 GB of memory.
I'd hate for this to have been a useless purchase.

Now is not the time to be buying regular DDR memory, IMO. Now is the
time to buy DDR2 memory (after upgrading if necessary). If you got
it on sale, that's probably why.

Good luck and have fun.
 
M

mfanizzi

Seems to me the Kingston could be faster. Have you looked at
commercial benchmarks? Maybe memory timing isn't the only factor,
and maybe greater total capacity slows the benchmark.

I guess you could try benchmarking 1 GB of the 2 GB kit.


I suppose you already know, but the major benefit of more memory is
the capacity to handle more data at RAM speed. If Doom3 loads into 1
GB of RAM comfortably, then you shouldn't expect shorter loading
time with 2 GB of memory.


Now is not the time to be buying regular DDR memory, IMO. Now is the
time to buy DDR2 memory (after upgrading if necessary). If you got
it on sale, that's probably why.

Good luck and have fun.

Hmmmm...

- I will try 1gb of the 2gb kit and post here with results. I did do
research, and the new stuff should be absolutely killing my Kingston
ram.

- Interesting point about the Doom3 loads. What do you think I could do
to ensure that I really am testing the use of all the memory?

- Heh, well, my computer is about two years old now, so my mobo doesn't
support DDR2. If I were to change the board, I'd want to change the CPU
as well as the ram...and probably the video card, and the PSU... To me,
a mobo change is a slippery slope, and I don't have the cash to do all
that right now (I'll just get a new PC in several years). So yeah,
that's pretty much why I'm sticking to DDR for the time being.

Any ideas or leads outside of testing one stick of the 2x1gb kit?
Thanks for the reply.
 
M

mfanizzi

Argh, I wish I could edit my message. Anyway, I also meant to ask:
would it be crazy to want or expect the full 3gb to work well together?
They're both ddr400 pc3200, so it's not quite "mixing". Why then does
the full 3gb have terrible results?
 
J

John Doe

What do you think I could do to ensure that I really am testing
the use of all the memory?

An application that uses more than 1 GB of memory.
would it be crazy to want or expect the full 3gb to work well
together? They're both ddr400 pc3200, so it's not quite "mixing".
Why then does the full 3gb have terrible results?

Be sure to use the lowest settings of the two.
 
D

Dave

Alright..I'm a gamer, so I was looking to beef up the 1gb in my system
and bought a 2gb kit. Before I get into the problem, here are some
relevant specs:

CPU is P4, 3.2 Ghz.
Motherboard is Asus P4P800-E Deluxe, recently flashed to latest stable
revision.

Old RAM is: "KINGSTON HYPERX 1024MB DUAL CHANNEL KIT PC3200 2X512MB DDR
400MHZ 184PIN". Runs at 2.5-3-3-8, if that matters at all.

New RAM is: "OCZ EL Platinum PC3200 2GB 2X1GB DDR400 CL2-3-2-5 184PIN
Pin Dual Channel Memory Kit /W Ramsink". Runs at 2.5-3-2-5. Should be
capable of Cas 2, but I can't seem to get the machine to post when I
set it to 2.

I think you're ignoring one of the very basic specs. Double-check this to
make sure I've got it right, but a quick review of similar RAM seems to
indicate that the Kingston is 2.5 or 2.6V, and the OCZ is 2.8V. What this
means is that the timings are based on a certain voltage. It's OK to
under-volt a bit, or even over-volt a bit, but don't expect the RAM to meet
it's advertised timings based on a different voltage.

I suspect you are running 2.8V RAM at 2.6V. IF the Kingston RAM is 2.6V and
the OCZ is 2.8V, it should be OK to run the Kingston at 2.8V to allow the
OCZ to run stable at advertised timing specs. Or, you can run the OCZ at
2.6V, but turn down the timings so that it runs OK. (but what would be the
fun in that, ha ha)

However, I think a better plan would be to install just the new OCZ RAM, and
set your voltage to whatever that RAM requires. I'd be surprised if you
could find a game that would benefit from running more than 2Gigs of RAM.
I'd probably sell the Kingston to help finance the upgrade. -Dave
 
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C

Cronzor

Hm, other than checking general frames per second in a resource-hungry
game, I can't think of anything on my PC that will need that much
memory. Do you perhaps know of any benchmarking apps that would test
that? I tried googling for a decent benchmark to no avail.

Also, the system automatically adjusts to the slowest timings, so I
don't think that's an issue.



As for the latest poster: thanks for your input! Do you mean to tell me
that when I run the 2gb kit alone the system does not automatically
adjust the voltage? I could understand that being an issue when I'm
running the full 3gb together, but when it's alone?
 
C

Cronzor

Cronzor said:
Hm, other than checking general frames per second in a resource-hungry
game, I can't think of anything on my PC that will need that much
memory. Do you perhaps know of any benchmarking apps that would test
that? I tried googling for a decent benchmark to no avail.

Also, the system automatically adjusts to the slowest timings, so I
don't think that's an issue.



As for the latest poster: thanks for your input! Do you mean to tell me
that when I run the 2gb kit alone the system does not automatically
adjust the voltage? I could understand that being an issue when I'm
running the full 3gb together, but when it's alone?

Argh, I really wish I could edit, or at least think twice before
submitting a message. Apologies. Anyway, the OCZ ram is rated and runs
at 2.6, but "OCZ Platinum Edition memory modules are rated to handle up
to 2.8V without invalidating the OCZ Lifetime Warranty". You really
think I should go for it? I suppose I would do this through the BIOS?
 
D

Dave

Argh, I really wish I could edit, or at least think twice before
submitting a message. Apologies. Anyway, the OCZ ram is rated and runs
at 2.6, but "OCZ Platinum Edition memory modules are rated to handle up
to 2.8V without invalidating the OCZ Lifetime Warranty". You really
think I should go for it? I suppose I would do this through the BIOS?

That seems to be quite common, lately. I've seen other posts where people
bought memory rated at a certain voltage, and then discovered that the SPD
settings were for slower timing and lower voltage. If memory won't run
stable at current voltage, it is a common workaround to up the voltage
slightly. Yes, if your BIOS is a good one, it will allow you to adjust the
RAM voltage up a bit. I'd try it myself. -Dave
 
J

John Doe

"Dave" <never not.invalid> wrote:

....
IF the Kingston RAM
is 2.6V and the OCZ is 2.8V, it should be OK to run the Kingston
at 2.8V to allow the OCZ to run stable at advertised timing specs.

Besides being a strange leap (the second part doesn't follow the
first), apparently you are saying it's OK not only to run the
Kingston at a higher than specified voltage, but also to run the
Kingston at higher than specified timings.

That's easy enough for the original poster to disapprove, so I guess
it's no big deal unless he messes up some hardware.
 
C

Cronzor

Hmm, yeah, I don't know if I want to take the risk in adjusting the
Kingston to run at the OCZ's timings. I'm going to paste into here a
message from my other discussion on the same topic. I've run tests with
the kingston ram alone, ocz ram at stock alone, and ocz with
voltage/timings/settings tweaked. Here's the message:

Well, first thing you do, is plug in the 2x512MB config and
repeat memtest. Does the screen report the same bandwidth as
your 2611MB/sec for the 2x1GB config ? Are the timing numbers
used, exactly the same, as verified with CPUZ ? The value of using
memtest86+ is not the absolute number (which usually is depressingly
low). The value is in comparing different RAMs or different timing
choices, to see which ones are better or worse.

As for your running config, I would choose 2x1GB, assuming
you can figure out what is going wrong.

I have run more extensive tests. Here are the memtest86+ results:
1024 MB Kingston ram at 2.5-3-3-8 (stock) = 2557 MB/S
2048 MB OCZ ram at 2.5-3-2-5 and no tweaks = 2557 MB/S
2048 MB OCZ ram at 2.0-3-2-5 and tweaks = 2666 MB/S
(more tweaks = 2725 but system was unstable)

This makes a little more sense, but it's hardly impressive. Big
question: Is this a qualitative rating alone, or does it take into
account the total amount of RAM? In other words, is the only
performance boost the boost from 2557 to 2666, or is it the fact that
the memory itself is that much faster, AND there's now twice as much of
it? I'm certainly hoping it's the latter, it'll make me feel better.
Oh, and by the way, try experimenting with Tras (the "5" in your
timing numbers). Try a value of 8 or so, and see if things
change. If you follow some of the testing on Anandtech, the
policy on Tras changes from situation to situation, and the
lowest number is not always the best choice. (The lowest number
is the best choice, for the first three digits.) Mind you, I've
never wasted the time trying all the Tras values on any of
my systems...

I played around and there was no difference in memtest or Sandra
testing, so I've left it at 5 for now.
Another factor to check, is MAM (also known as PAT on the
875 chipset). That is good for a few percent performance, and
changing the memory sticks might have throwh off that setting.
Now, I don't know what the best util is today for checking that.
CPUZ and CTIAW are two possible utils you could try.

I have played with the Performance Mode and Acceleration Mode settings
to obtain the optimal results for each set of tests presented.

On my P4C800-E, I get 2732MB/sec in memtest86+, with 2-2-2-6
memory 2x512MB PC3200 with PAT enabled. With PAT disabled I
get 2667MB/sec. On my board, PAT is enabled by setting
memory performance mode to "Standard". Your board has a
separate "Memory Acceleration Mode" setting, and as long
as you are at FSB800/DDR400 with two sticks, I think it should
work. You can force it to [Enabled] and see what happens.

PAT Enabled makes my system hang, but setting to Automatic seems to
enable performance mode without any problems. Memory Accel mode is
enabled in all my test results.

You can see the memtest results higher up in this message.

Sisoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth test shows the following:
2x1024 OCZ RAM with no tweaks and 2.5-3-2-5: 4319/4343 (67% bw
efficiency)
2x1024 OCZ RAM with full tweaks and 2.0-3-2-5: 4854/4854 (75% bw
efficiency)
2x512 KINGSTON RAM with no tweaks (not made to be tweaked..): 4849/4852
(76%)

Still makes little to no sense on this front, as the 2 year old
Kingston is still kicking the OCZ's ass.

Here are some screenshots from CTIAW and CPU-Z, in case you need some
info:

http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/959/ctiawkingstonjv5.jpg - CTIAW
(Kingston)
http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/5672/cpuzkingstonfh6.jpg - CPU-Z
(Kingston)

http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/5360/ctiawoczwy4.jpg - CTIAW (OCZ,
pre-tweaking)
http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/2344/ctiawoczafterap7.jpg - CTIAW
(OCZ, post-tweaking)
http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/4494/cpuzoczff4.jpg - CPU-Z (OCZ,
pre-tweaking)
http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/8370/cpuzoczafterqe5.jpg - CPU-Z
(OCZ, post-tweaking)

Big note here, CTIAW incorrectly reports my FSB and DDR MHz to have
lowered after tweaking. It seems wrong, as neither the BIOS nor CPU-Z
seem to think so.

Geez, long post. Alright, to the point: What do you make of these
results, and do you have any further counsel for me? Should I try
getting the Kingston and OCZ to like each other, or keep OCZ and sell
Kingston? (or keep Kingston and sell OCZ...heh)

Thanks again for your continued help.
 
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J

job

So,how much for the Kingston?

Cronzor said:
Hmm, yeah, I don't know if I want to take the risk in adjusting the
Kingston to run at the OCZ's timings. I'm going to paste into here a
message from my other discussion on the same topic. I've run tests with
the kingston ram alone, ocz ram at stock alone, and ocz with
voltage/timings/settings tweaked. Here's the message:

Well, first thing you do, is plug in the 2x512MB config and
repeat memtest. Does the screen report the same bandwidth as
your 2611MB/sec for the 2x1GB config ? Are the timing numbers
used, exactly the same, as verified with CPUZ ? The value of using
memtest86+ is not the absolute number (which usually is depressingly
low). The value is in comparing different RAMs or different timing
choices, to see which ones are better or worse.

As for your running config, I would choose 2x1GB, assuming
you can figure out what is going wrong.

I have run more extensive tests. Here are the memtest86+ results:
1024 MB Kingston ram at 2.5-3-3-8 (stock) = 2557 MB/S
2048 MB OCZ ram at 2.5-3-2-5 and no tweaks = 2557 MB/S
2048 MB OCZ ram at 2.0-3-2-5 and tweaks = 2666 MB/S
(more tweaks = 2725 but system was unstable)

This makes a little more sense, but it's hardly impressive. Big
question: Is this a qualitative rating alone, or does it take into
account the total amount of RAM? In other words, is the only
performance boost the boost from 2557 to 2666, or is it the fact that
the memory itself is that much faster, AND there's now twice as much of
it? I'm certainly hoping it's the latter, it'll make me feel better.
Oh, and by the way, try experimenting with Tras (the "5" in your
timing numbers). Try a value of 8 or so, and see if things
change. If you follow some of the testing on Anandtech, the
policy on Tras changes from situation to situation, and the
lowest number is not always the best choice. (The lowest number
is the best choice, for the first three digits.) Mind you, I've
never wasted the time trying all the Tras values on any of
my systems...

I played around and there was no difference in memtest or Sandra
testing, so I've left it at 5 for now.
Another factor to check, is MAM (also known as PAT on the
875 chipset). That is good for a few percent performance, and
changing the memory sticks might have throwh off that setting.
Now, I don't know what the best util is today for checking that.
CPUZ and CTIAW are two possible utils you could try.

I have played with the Performance Mode and Acceleration Mode settings
to obtain the optimal results for each set of tests presented.

On my P4C800-E, I get 2732MB/sec in memtest86+, with 2-2-2-6
memory 2x512MB PC3200 with PAT enabled. With PAT disabled I
get 2667MB/sec. On my board, PAT is enabled by setting
memory performance mode to "Standard". Your board has a
separate "Memory Acceleration Mode" setting, and as long
as you are at FSB800/DDR400 with two sticks, I think it should
work. You can force it to [Enabled] and see what happens.

PAT Enabled makes my system hang, but setting to Automatic seems to
enable performance mode without any problems. Memory Accel mode is
enabled in all my test results.

You can see the memtest results higher up in this message.

Sisoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth test shows the following:
2x1024 OCZ RAM with no tweaks and 2.5-3-2-5: 4319/4343 (67% bw
efficiency)
2x1024 OCZ RAM with full tweaks and 2.0-3-2-5: 4854/4854 (75% bw
efficiency)
2x512 KINGSTON RAM with no tweaks (not made to be tweaked..): 4849/4852
(76%)

Still makes little to no sense on this front, as the 2 year old
Kingston is still kicking the OCZ's ass.

Here are some screenshots from CTIAW and CPU-Z, in case you need some
info:

http://img126.imageshack.us/img126/959/ctiawkingstonjv5.jpg - CTIAW
(Kingston)
http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/5672/cpuzkingstonfh6.jpg - CPU-Z
(Kingston)

http://img160.imageshack.us/img160/5360/ctiawoczwy4.jpg - CTIAW (OCZ,
pre-tweaking)
http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/2344/ctiawoczafterap7.jpg - CTIAW
(OCZ, post-tweaking)
http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/4494/cpuzoczff4.jpg - CPU-Z (OCZ,
pre-tweaking)
http://img235.imageshack.us/img235/8370/cpuzoczafterqe5.jpg - CPU-Z
(OCZ, post-tweaking)

Big note here, CTIAW incorrectly reports my FSB and DDR MHz to have
lowered after tweaking. It seems wrong, as neither the BIOS nor CPU-Z
seem to think so.

Geez, long post. Alright, to the point: What do you make of these
results, and do you have any further counsel for me? Should I try
getting the Kingston and OCZ to like each other, or keep OCZ and sell
Kingston? (or keep Kingston and sell OCZ...heh)

Thanks again for your continued help.

I've been running my ram overvolted for two years. .1 or .2v is not going to
screw up your system.Actually OCZ ram that is rate at 2.8v is out of spec
for the chips they use.They find chips that will tolerate faster than
specced speeds and voltage and sell it to as "performance ram" mainly to
overclockers.
So,how much for the Kingston?
 
C

Cronzor

I've been running my ram overvolted for two years. .1 or .2v is not going to
screw up your system.Actually OCZ ram that is rate at 2.8v is out of spec
for the chips they use.They find chips that will tolerate faster than
specced speeds and voltage and sell it to as "performance ram" mainly to
overclockers.
So,how much for the Kingston?

Are you saying I should perhaps try to get the Kingston running faster
and work them all together?

And...why, you interested? lol. I haven't checked out what they're
going for these days yet.
 
J

job

Cronzor said:
Are you saying I should perhaps try to get the Kingston running faster
and work them all together?

And...why, you interested? lol. I haven't checked out what they're
going for these days yet.
You could overvolt the kingstons,no problem.I would..But 3 GB is kind
overkill
Yes,I am in the market for a 1GB dual kit.What are the specs?CAS 2 right?Got
a mobo on the way.New cpu and vid card this week.So,I'm looking for a
bargain.
 
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C

Cronzor

heh, yes, it is capable of that. You can google khx3200ak2/1g for a
nice spec sheet.

However, I am not selling til I can confirm the quality of the new RAM,
as well as rule out the possibility that the memory won't mix well
together. I need someone to reply to my previous message with my latest
results and such.
 

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